Pistol Downs The Gentleman
Mark Allen emphatically surged to a 13-8 defeat of Joe Perry to book a quarter-final place at the Betfred World Championship.
The pair came into this evening’s session with the tie finely poised at 8-8 and many would have predicted a late night battle, but as it transpired Allen swept up all five frames to ease to the finish line.
The victory sees Antrim’s Allen reach the quarter-final stage at the World Championship for the first time in seven years. The result is in stark contrast to the Pistol’s last 16 clash in 2017, which saw Allen ousted 13-9 against John Higgins, despite putting on an inspired display and firing in four centuries.
Allen composed breaks of 133, 74 and 122 this evening to brush Perry aside. The 32-year-old now faces either Kyren Wilson or Jamie Jones, as he attempts to secure a passage to the semi-finals and the one-table setup for only the second time after his initial run to the last four in 2009.
The Masters champion will head into the last eight in confident mood after claiming his first ever Triple Crown title with victory at Alexandra Palace in January.
Perry leaves disappointed after fading away this evening. However, he will be able to reflect on an event which saw him qualify for the Crucible for the first time in two years. The Gentleman also made a big impact in round one, inflicting defending champion Mark Selby’s first defeat at the Crucible since 2015.
Three-time ranking event winner Allen said: “I felt like I needed to go for more shots, my game is about potting the long ones and scoring. I was aggressive this evening, but I was sensible. I turned down a few pots to keep him tight when he was 40 or 50 down in frames. Apart from one missed blue, I played perfect snooker for five frames tonight. This is the World Championship at the end of the day and you’re not going to have any matches handed to you, so I’m very happy with the way I closed it out.”
Perry said: “I’ve proved to myself that on my day I’m good enough to beat anybody. Unfortunately, inconsistency is probably what’s stopped me winning more trophies in my career. Every now and then I throw in one of these bad performances and fall short. I know that when it all comes together, I’m good enough to beat anybody and maybe win a tournament. I’ve got to take that and just keep working. Hopefully I’ll have another one of those dream days somewhere down the line.”
Ali Carter will take a 9-7 lead into the concluding session of his second round clash with five-time World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The Captain has never defeated O’Sullivan and trails the head-to-head record 13-0, including two world final losses.
Carter had looked as if he was going to establish a big advantage when he led 8-3. However, the Rocket claimed four of the remaining five frames, including breaks of 79 and 105 as he moved within two at 9-7. They will play to a conclusion tomorrow at 2:30pm.